Project title: Octreotide-targeted treatment of pancreatic NETs

Renata Pasqualini, PhD MD Anderson Cancer Center

Renata Pasqualini, PhD
  • Status: Completed
  • Year(s): 2011
  • Grant Type: Collaborative
  • Research Type: Translational
  • Primary Tumor Site: Pancreas
  • Area of Inquiry: Vaccine/virus

General Description

This study aims to utilize SSTR2 receptors present on pancreatic NETs to target and deliver therapeutic agents directly to the tumors themselves. Researchers will first design a virus containing octreotide on its protein surface, which will allow the virus to bind to cells containing SSTR2 receptors (i.e. pancreatic NETs). The virus will contain the gene for TNF-a, a protein that induces cell inflammation and death. The intended goal is that the virus will selectively target pancreatic NETs via the SSTR2 receptor, deliver the TNF-a gene, and in tum cause cell death without harming surrounding healthy cells. The successful completion of this study will address the lack of a gene therapy approach to the treatment of pancreatic NETs.


Smith TL, Yuan Z,  Cardó-Vila M, Claros S, Adem A, Cui MH, Branch CA, Gelovani JG, Libutti SK,  Sidman RL, Pasqualini R, Arap W. AAVP displaying octreotide for ligand-directed therapeutic transgene delivery in neuroendocrine tumors of the pancreas. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Mar 1; 113(9): 2466–2471. Published online 2016 Feb 16. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1525709113

Additional Details

  • City: Houston
  • State: TX
  • Grant Duration: 2 years
  • Grant Partner: American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)


NETRF funds laboratory research to understand the development of neuroendocrine tumors and translational research to explore new concepts in treatment. Research grant descriptions and research updates from NETRF are not intended to serve as medical advice. It can take years for research discoveries to be fully validated and approved for patient care. Always consult your health care providers about your treatment options.

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